To say that the last nine months have been tough for WBO welterweight title holder Timothy Bradley would be a gross understatement.
Following a highly controversial split decision win over Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, the tribulations for the Palm Springs fighter have ranged from harsh criticism online to death threats over the phone.
“I don’t get any credit after the Pacquiao fight, whatsoever. People talk about me, my style, that I’m boring. Some people talk about my wife, my kids. People sent me death threats after the fight because I won undeservingly. I should have given the belt back. A lot of different things went on. I can talk all day about things that people said about me. But it doesn’t matter – none of these people are going to get in the ring with me ,” Bradley stated last week on a conference call with the media.
Whether you agree with the decision or not, the fact remains that Bradley now owns the championship strap that once belonged to Pacquiao.
He’ll put it on the line this Saturday night against welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA in the main attraction of the HBO World Championship boxing televised event.
With so much fall out from his last outing, Bradley looks to make things much less debatable this time around.
“Every fight from here on out is a statement fight, especially coming after the Pacquiao fight. I am looking to make a statement in this fight and I am looking to damage this guy. I am looking to put this guy out. I don’t want to go 12 rounds with this guy. The longer he stays around the more confident he will get so I want to get him out of there as soon as possible , ” the ‘Desert Storm’ declared .
Bradley, while undefeated and highly skilled, is not known as a power punching pugilist . He recently claimed to have added that missing piece of the puzzle to his arsenal , ” The speed is still there and the power will be there. In camp we have been working on a lot of techniques and turning over my shots and making them harder and more effective. The sparring partners are asking what am I doing differently because my shots are a lot harder now.”
One of those sparring partners is junior welterweight Mauricio Herrera, the only fighter to defeat Bradley’s upcoming opponent.
“We sparred yesterday. He told me ‘ you come to fight, every single day, ‘ and he makes me work hard. He told me don’t exchange with him. He will apply pressure the whole fight but it is smart pressure. He is going to eat a lot of shots but will always be in front of your face. “
Whether Bradley really is hitting that much harder remains to be seen, but if he is a hittable target in Provodnikov is just what he needs to help propel him to a win on Saturday night.
And help him move on from the bittersweet decision over Pacquiao last June.